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Modern Literary Criticism and Theory: A History

ISBN: 978-1-4051-7667-5
264 pages
January 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Modern Literary Criticism and Theory: A History (1405176679) cover image
Written in concise and clear language, this book offers an historical overview of literary criticism and theory throughout the twentieth century along with a close analysis of some of the most important and commonly taught texts from the period.

* Provides an accessible introduction to modern literary theory and criticism

* Places various modes of criticism within their historical and intellectual contexts

* Offers close readings of some of the major critical texts of the period

* Explores the works of a diverse group of 20th-century writers, including Babbitt, Woolf, Bakhtin, Heidegger, Lacan, Derrida, Judith Butler, Zizek, Nussbaum, Negri and Hardt

* Covers formalism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, deconstruction, Marxism, feminism, reader-response criticism, historicism, gender studies, cultural studies, and film theory
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Acknowledgments.

Introduction:.

Formative Moments in the History of Literary Criticism.

Historical Backgrounds of Modern Criticism and Theory.

The Scope of Modern Literary and Cultural Criticism.

1. The First Decades: From Liberal Humanism to Formalism.

The New Humanists, Neo-Romantics, and Precursors of Formalism.

The Background of Modernism.

The Poetics of Modernism: W.B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot.

Formalism:.

Russian Formalism:.

Boris Eichenbaum (1886-1959).

Mikhail M. Bakhtin (1895-1975).

Roman Jakobson (1896-1982).

The New Criticism:.

John Crowe Ransom (1888-1974).

William K. Wimsatt, Jr. (1907-1975) and Monroe C. Beardsley (1915-1985).

2. Socially Conscious Criticism of the Earlier Twentieth Century.

F. R. Leavis (1895-1978) and Scrutiny.

Marxist and Left-Wing Criticism:.

Socialist Criticism in Britain.

The Fundamental Principles of Marxism.

Marxist Literary Criticism: A Historical Overview.

Early Feminist Criticism: Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir:.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941).

Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986).

3. Criticism and Theory After the Second World War.

Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) and Phenomenology.

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) and Existentialism.

Georges Bataille (1897-1962) and Heterology.

Structuralism:.

Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913).

Roland Barthes (1915-1980).

4. The Era of Poststructuralism (I): Later Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Deconstruction.

Later Marxist Criticism:.

Terry Eagleton (b. 1943).

Psychoanalysis: Freud and Lacan:.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939).

Jacques Lacan (1901-1981).

Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) and Deconstruction.

5. The Era of Poststructuralism (II): Postmodernism, Modern Feminism, Gender Studies.

Postmodernism:.

Jurgen Habermas (b. 1929).

Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007).

Jean-Francois Lyotard (1924-1998).

bell hooks (Gloria Jean Watkins; b. 1952).

Modern Feminism:.

French Feminism.

American Feminism.

British Feminism.

Julia Kristeva (b. 1941).

Helene Cixous (b. 1937).

Gender Studies:.

Gayle Rubin (b. 1949).

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (b. 1950).

Judith Butler (b. 1956).

6. The Later Twentieth Century: New Historicism, Reader-Response Theory, and Postcolonial Criticism.

New Historicism:.

Michel Foucault (1926-1984).

Reader-Response and Reception Theory:.

Wolfgang Iser (b. 1926).

Stanley Fish (b. 1938).

Postcolonial Criticism:.

Edward Said (1935-2004).

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (b. 1942).

Homi K. Bhabha (b. 1949).

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (b. 1950).

7. Cultural Studies and Film Theory.

Cultural Studies:.

Raymond Williams (1921-1988).

Stuart Hall (b. 1932).

Dick Hebdige (b. 1951).

John Fiske.

Susan Bordo (b. 1947).

Film Theory:.

Andrew Sarris (b. 1928) and Auteur Theory.

Jim Kitses: The Study of Genre.

Christian Metz (1931-1993): A Psychoanalytic Perspective.

Laura Mulvey (b. 1941): Feminist Film Theory.

8. Contemporary Directions: The Return of the Public Intellectual.

The New Liberalism: Martha Nussbaum, Elaine Scarry, John Carey:.

Martha Nussbaum (b. 1947).

Elaine Scarry (b. 1946).

John Carey (b. 1934).

The New Aestheticism.

The New Theorists of Revolution: Zizek, Hardt, Negri.

Slavoj Zizek (b. 1949).

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri: The Concept of Empire.

Epilogue: The Myth of Liberal Humanism.

Index
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M.A.R. Habib is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University. He received his D.Phil. in English from Oxford University, and is the author of five books, including A History of Literary Criticism and Theory: From Plato to the Present (Blackwell, 2005).
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  • Provides an accessible introduction to modern literary theory and criticism
  • Places various modes of criticism within their historical and intellectual contexts
  • Offers close readings of some of the major critical texts of the period
  • Explores the works of a diverse group of 20th-century writers, including Babbitt, Woolf, Bakhtin, Heidegger, Lacan, Derrida, Judith Butler, Zizek, Nussbaum, Negri and Hardt
  • Covers formalism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, deconstruction, Marxism, feminism, reader-response criticism, historicism, gender studies, cultural studies, and film theory
See More
“Lucid, wide-ranging, erudite and packed with insights, Rafey Habib’s survey of modern criticism and theory has something for both the tenderfoot and the old-timer. Students everywhere will find it indispensable.”
Terry Eagleton, University of Manchester

"Those who want to know where literary critics may be going should have this." Times Higher Education Supplement<!--end-->

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